Former Board of Control for Cricket in India chief Sharad Pawar could make a sensational return as president. There is talk that the Maharashtra politician could emerge an unlikely candidate to take on the suspended Narayanaswami Srinivasan.
Aditya Verma, president of the defunct Cricket Association of Bihar, believes Pawar is the right man to lead Indian cricket out the current mess it is in.
“I believe Sharad Pawar is ready to take charge of the BCCI. I feel he is the right man to bring Indian cricket back on track. He would definitely get the support of the majority of the members if he decides to contest. He is a very powerful man; if he files his nomination nothing can stop him.
"We just want to get rid of Srinivasan because that is a big step in cleaning up the mess in Indian cricket,” said Verma, in Mumbai on Friday.
Pawar is no stranger to heading cricket bodies. He was president of the BCCI from 2005 to 2008 and took over the same post at the International Cricket Council from 2010 to 2012.
Last year, the former Union Agriculture Minister made another comeback to cricket after a brief hiatus when he was elected unopposed president of the Mumbai Cricket Association.
However, he is yet to reveal anything on his interest in taking over as BCCI chief.
Verma, on Friday, revealed that his close aides including former cabinet minister and ex-president of the Cricket Association of Jharkhand Subhodh Kant Sahay and Cricket Association of Bengal president Jagmohan Dalmiya are in discussion over the possibility of forming an association to tackle the might of Srinivasan.
“Pawar is quite a mature person. We have been holding discussions with Pawar and Jagmohan Dalmiya for the past few days, since the next tenure is for a candidate from East Zone. We are happy that it is hurting them that the very BCCI and ICC which they have served with so much dedication, their named is being soiled because of one person’s greed for power. This is a big question mark on the integrity and credibility of the BCCI,” said Verma.
He came down heavily on BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel, saying he has gone against the Supreme Court's directive.
“I have already filed an application with the Supreme Court urging the honourable court to take action against Patel for spreading wrong news in the media. While the Justice Mudgal Commission, appointed by the Supreme Court, is working to file the report on the charges of IPL spot-fixing, Patel has gone public saying that Srinivasan has got a clean chit. It is a serious offence and I have urged the honourable court to look into it,” he added.
Verma believes the top officials of the BCCI have made a big mistake by postponing its Annual General Meeting just to support Srinivasan, who was suspended by the Supreme Court earlier this year. He said it is a first in the Board's 85-year history.
“The BCCI is hijacked by one man, which is Srinivasan, and they are only doing what he wants. This is completely wrong. When I contacted the IG Registrar in Chennai through my counsel he told me ‘I agree with your points but the rules of the Societies Registration Act clearly state that I cannot prescribe to the BCCI on holding the AGM. But, yes, if the BCCI postpones their AGM then they have to give us prior information and take our permission. And till today they have not given us any information nor sought our permission. I will question the BCCI on this and get back to you.’
"This is another example of the BCCI breaking the rule; this must also be investigated,” he declared.
Image: Aditya Verma (right) with Subhodh Kant Sahay
Photograph: Harish Kotian/Rediff.com